I was more anxious than ever before this year about course selections for next year. The atmosphere of our department felt a little competitive in terms of what courses we would get, plus the atmosphere of course selections just seems so shrouded in mystery and seniority that it was impossible to get a handle on things. And, I really wanted to teach IB English 3 again, really bad - I felt like I had done some good work in it, but hadn't achieved everything I wanted to in a course I was handed on late notice.
So, I requested #1 to have IB English 3 again, and #2 to have whichever course I was needed in, especially English II or English I. I figured I would be given English II again, as it is the course with the high-stakes test in it, therefore the course with a lot of mandatory bullshit meetings and benchmarks in it. No one wants to deal with that, but I was willing to because I like teaching things a second time and thought there were some cool things in the curriculum. Plus, I think I did a pretty good job with the sophomores this year, and wanted to develop that some more. Lastly, I was going to revisit the curriculum a bit, focusing on skills instead of content and allowing myself to bring in other texts into American Literature that I think are just as important as, say, Huck Finn (which I don't much care for), like Song of Solomon or A Farewell to Arms. So, I figured I would be given English 2, and was looking forward to it.
Therefore, I was surprised to find out yesterday that I was moving back to the 9th grade. This was the first year in my six year career that I did not teach English I, so it will be a return home for me. It is also the year that our school switches over to the Middle Years Program, which will hopefully be a really great thing for the school. I think the International Baccalaureate is just a solid overall educational organization, and have enjoyed teaching in the IB program, so adding the MYP to the lower grade levels just seems like an exciting and worthy change for our students.
So, it's back to To Kill a Mockingbird, A Lesson Before Dying, The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, House On Mango Street, and Fences. I picked all those books in the first place, so I certainly cannot complain. There's also a lot of teacher choice beyond that, with a focus on internationalism. I'm excited.
And my second course? IB English 3, exactly what I asked for. I'm even excited that I have just one section of it, because it allows for more focus on the intense writing that this course does. I'm co-teaching the course with the friend, who is returning from the school after a year spent teaching in Costa Rica. Right now, we're hammering away at book choices, because we have to match up. It'll be good. We've exchanged probably 40 e-mails in the last twelve hours as we decide together.
It's going to be a busy summer, with all the reading I'm going to be doing for these courses. But, I'm at least excited about next year. If you had told me two weeks ago that this would be the case, I might have called you crazy.
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